It was 10:30 am on a Saturday morning. There was a thickening crowd of people in Borough Market as I made my way to Rabot 1745, a restaurant with a cacao-centric menu, for 10:45 am reservations. The food stalls were open and alive with energy while some of the restaurants were slowly awakening. Elliot’s Cafe, one of my favorite lunch spots in the area, already had customers, with beverages in hand, sat outside people watching, the oyster restaurant I’ve been meaning to try stood still and a few doors over a line, formed by over 30 coffee drinkers, congested the street outside Monmouth Coffee. I wondered if I should share in the knowledge that there’s another place they can procure that wonderful coffee just a few steps away without the drag of a line, where I would soon learn also serves a pretty spot on brunch.
While Borough Market was bustling with activity, inside Rabot 1745 my brunch partner in crime, Ceri of Natural Kitchen Adventures, and I settled in with the early breakfast crowd who were just about done with their first meal of the day. Apparently brunch is served from 9 – 11am here and we had just made the tail end of the service.
We were given an introduction to a small dish of cacao nibs from the waitress and an Americano (for her) and cacao-infused bellini (for me). The cacao nibs when smashed into bits expelled an earthy, musty scent and when bitten into you could almost taste the pleasure of chocolate. The bellini surprised with its initial tartness then quickly failed to complement the fizz. Next time I’ll play it safe with the mango bellini.
Our fellow diners were thinning out just as we decided on the lobster slices with lobster hollandaise, spinach, and poached eggs served on a cacoa nib toast. The setting seemed a little more intimate and relaxed with just a handful of brunch warriors left over. I admired the decor and couldn’t help but take a few shots with my dSLR (at the expense of embarrassing my friend). The hanging lights, wood patterned walls and minimalist chairs all worked together creating the perfect kind of atmosphere for friends catching up over brunch.
The stars of the show arrived and they were gorgeous. The lobster slices were generously thick and offered a satisfying chew, tough enough without being overdone. The perfectly poached eggs provided the kind of drama that I love when it’s cut into and a lava of yolk spills on to the plate. The eggs together with the buttered toast, crispy in texture with the earthy cacao nib coming though, was enhanced when dipped in the cacao nib sauce. It was rich and sensual bite after bite; unexpected but oh so good.
If you’re looking for an escape from the crowds in Borough Market, Rabot 1745 is a welcome haven. I haven’t had the pleasure of trying their dinner menu but with my best friend visiting in August, I know just where I’ll be taking her.
2-4 Bedale Street
London SE1 9AL